After winning the 2023 Cricket Celebration Bowl last December, the N.C. Central University Eagles are coming off one of the team’s best seasons in its history.
The win put the Eagles at 10-1 for the 2022-23 season. It was a stinging defeat for the Jackson State University Tigers, especially because it was Head Coach Deion Sanders’ last game coaching the Tigers.
Eagle quarterback Davius Richard, who returns this season, was named the bowl’s Most Valuable Player. To win the game in overtime he pushed through from the 1-yard line.
“It really came down to watching film and know what our opponents will do in the red zone, having trust and belief in my teammates,” said Richard.
In all, Richard threw 175 yards with a 75 percent completion rate.
This topped off a season for Richard in which he was named MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. On his way to winning the MEAC award Richard broke all Eagle single season records for pass completions, pass completion percentage, total offense yards gained. He was ranked fifth in the nation as a D-1 player in “points responsible for.”
Last season’s success, according to Eagle Head Coach, Trei Oliver, due to the team’s ability to “out score people.”
“We won games,” joked Oliver.
Oliver said his scheme coming into this season is to become “a little more multiple defensively” and to “offensively, always get the ball into your playmakers hands.”
He said that three players are looking like stand outs for next season: freshman Markell Quick, a receiver; junior Walker Harris, a quarterback; and sophomore Jayden Flaker, a linebacker.
Richard said he and the team define a successful new season as a “winning” one. “The team is coming in with the same hunger, but a little bit more,” he said.
The Eagles open their 2023-24 season at home against Winston-Salem State University this Saturday 4 p.m. The Eagles stand off against the play This season’s most notable games are against the N.C. A&T Aggies on Sep. 9th in Greensboro and the UCLA Bruins on Sep. 16, in Pasadena.